Today is the first day of the great 30-Day Vegan Workshop. I spent last week cleaning out my kitchen and making vegetarian dishes in preparation for this challenge, a way to ease this family into a new way of eating for the month. It was pretty easy, but every time I got out the butter or cheese, I had a small sinking feeling; what will I do without these dairy staples? What will we do for protein? Desserts?
We had a Farewell to Meat dinner with friends on Saturday night. There was steak, lobster, ribs, and chicken around the restaurant table, as well as jokes about bacon towers and spiral cut ham plates. We did our best to sample all the tasty meaty goodness we could; it was fun, but also a little fraught for me.
This may be a permanent goodbye to meat for me, as I have been wrestling with the dilemma of whether to veg or not to veg for some time now. I love animals. I grew up eating meat. I’m an omnivorous foodie. This will be a major lifestyle shift. For awhile I appeased these vegetarian urges by buying all-natural, “happy” meat. I definitely felt better about that than buying big industry beef and chicken, and yet…
This month will reveal how I truly feel about going vegetarian, I suppose. But more than that, I am looking forward to a rejuvenation, a refreshing of my body and spirit through the thoughtful act of preparing clean, whole food. The process naturally brings up the desire to make other areas of our life clean and whole. It’s only fitting that this challenge is happening at the first blush of spring. That urge to clean and refresh the house, organize and de-clutter is strong this time of year! So it’s going to be a whole body, whole house spring cleaning, and I am excited.
What are some of your favorite vegetarian or vegan recipes?